An anti-fracking campaigner has appeared in court faced with a legal bill of more than £55,000 and a potential custodial sentence after being sued for trespass.
Tina Louise Rotheryrefused to answer questions about her financial affairs at Blackpool district registry and said she would not pay the bill. She said afterwards she had been told she could face up to two weeks in prison.
In August 2014 a group called the Nanas, including Rothery, occupied a field near Blackpool that was being considered for shale gas exploration. The fracking firm Cuadrilla, which had rented the field from a farmer, argued that the three-week occupation caused disruption and distress to the farmer’s family and his business, and brought a claim against Rothery.
The company was granted an injunction to prevent activists from entering land throughout the Fylde in Lancashire, and in October 2014 part of its legal costs were awarded against Rothery as the only named defendant in the case. Since then interest has been added and the current total is £55,342.37.
According to a report on Drill or Drop?, Rothery said after Friday’s proceedings that she would now have to wait five days for further developments. She told a crowd of about 150 supporters that the court process was unjust. “I will not pay, even if I could, now or ever. This is my line in the sand,” the report quoted her as saying